- A world-wide phenomenon that can affect children of all ages.
- Four principal categories are defined: physical abuse, emotional abuse (also commonly referred to as psychological maltreatment), sexual abuse, and neglect. Children may fall under 1 or a combination of the different categories.
- An ongoing process that can take place in a family, institutional, or community setting, either by someone known to the child or, more rarely, by a stranger.
- Determining whether injuries have been caused accidentally or represent abuse is often challenging. Finding 1 or more suspicious injuries in a child should warrant a full evaluation to look for other injuries typical of abuse.
- While legislation such as mandatory reporting varies between countries, the over-riding principle of "paramountcy" (i.e., that the welfare of the child is paramount) is universal.
Last updated: Sep 12, 2012